6 music-driven feature films that will put a song in your heartBrowse all movies
Stream Yesterday, The High Note, Teen Spirit, Jakhalsdans and more toe-tapping flicks about the power of music.
These fictional music-related movies on Showmax remind us of the story-telling power of a harmonious balance between catchy tunes and memorable performances.
Tracee Ellis Ross (daughter of real-life singing icon Diana Ross) and Dakota Johnson play recording artist Grace Davis and her personal assistant Maggie. They’re coasting through life – Grace hasn’t released new music for years but her tours are sold out, and Maggie has her hands full booking more tours. Until wannabe producer Maggie meets a rising talent who wants to be a live act but he’s too nervous, and Grace is told that her career is over and she should take up a residency in Las Vegas (like Celine Dion and Britney Spears did).
Both women now have their work cut out for them as they take on these new challenges – Grace needs to create new music to prove that she’s still got what it takes after a DJ steals one of her songs and uses it in a trashy remix, and Maggie is falling for her new talent and he’s only able to play music when he’s around her. Their best intentions don’t always work out and their decades-long bond will be tested as their music ambitions collide.
Imagine being involved in an accident – being knocked over by a bus, to be precise – and waking up in a world where no one knows The Beatles. That’s what happens to struggling musician and singer Jack Malik (Himesh Patel). After waking up, he plays the song Yesterday for his friends during a jam session and they’re blown away – which leads to Jack getting a record deal and becoming a global act. He’s even invited to go on tour with real-life singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran (cameoing as himself).
Instead of doing the right thing, Jack uses his musical knowledge to write and produce the Beatles’ music and passes it off as his own. Until he is confronted by two people who were also transported to this alternate universe with Jack – they tell him that while they know he’s plagiarising, they’re okay with it because they’re Beatles fans too and they’re happy to hear the music again. And there’s something they want him to do – visit John Lennon, who never founded The Beatles in this current world.
3. Teen Spirit
There’s nothing to be shy about if you’re full of talent and have ambitions – it’s important to dream and to chase those dreams. For Violet Valenski (Elle Fanning), a shy, reclusive teenager living on the Isle of Wight, that dream is to become a performer. Not just any performer, though – she wants to enter the Teen Spirit reality show and win it. But to do that, she needs to pluck up the courage to not only enter the show, but to get up on stage and sing in front of a crowd.
That’s easier said than done, especially since her overbearing dad Vlad is pressuring her throughout the singing contest. Throw in typical teen drama like boys, crushes and fighting with her parents and Violet has the makings for an awkward teen who’s about to live out her potential on the big stage and kickstart her dreams.
Being the significant other of a member of the military is hard work. You can go months between seeing the person you love, and even then, you can’t guarantee that they’ll be coming home alive and in one piece. So to find some form of comfort or solace – and something meaningful to keep them busy – a group of British military wives form a choir and they go about their merry way performing in little halls and venues around the country.
Before long, they’re a national viral success story. This is a feel-good story that shows how the significant others of soldiers away from home try to come to terms with their situation and help others in their position with a little performance number. Prepare for loads of laughs as the women fumble their way through the group, each finding their own position in the choir.
Don’t worry if you’re not Afrikaans-speaking – there are subtitles in this Afrikaans-language film. It follows Mara Malan (Elizma Theron), a small-town teacher who moves to an even smaller town when her husband dies. And just when she thinks that her future lies in Loxton in the Karoo, Mara is dealt another blow: her school is going to be closed due to a lack of government funding.
And while a music concert is planned to raise much-needed funds, there’s a greater silver lining to the grey clouds of doom and gloom when Mara discovers that local hermit Ruan (real-life singer-songwriter Theuns Jordan) was a famous professional music star once upon a time. But there’s more than just melodies being played when the two meet – they can’t take their eyes off each other and their hearts are screaming “love me” when they’re close to each other. First, though, the pair need to team up and save the local school…
In this movie based on the 2019 novel of the same name, a teen named Martin bonds with Dovidl, the Polish immigrant boy who has been adopted by his family during World War II. The pair have an almost brotherly connection as they try to make their way through the world, until they’re 21, when violin prodigy David (Dovidl’s new name after being adopted) goes missing shortly before an important recital.
Flash-forward over 30 years and a now-56-year-old Martin (Tim Roth), who has devoted himself to the violin, hears a rumour of a secretive and reclusive violin player who he believes is his missing brother David (Clive Owen). Martin makes it his new goal to not only find this violin star but to connect with him and discover if it really is his missing brother.